Craig Rosenbaum | April 3, 2023 | Miscellaneous
Jury duty is an essential part of our justice system. Jurors play a critical role in ensuring that justice is served by listening to evidence and rendering a verdict for guilt or liability. Serving on a jury is considered a civic duty and is required by law. Failure to serve on a jury can result in fines or even imprisonment.
However, there may be certain circumstances in which an individual is unable to satisfy their duty as a juror. In this blog post, we will explore whether it is possible to get out of jury duty and the circumstances under which an individual may be excused or deferred from serving.
Circumstances To Get Out of Jury Duty
Broadly speaking, in New York, the primary circumstances that can lead to a jury duty excusal relate to medical or financial constraints – but there may be others in some situations.
The following is a description of some scenarios that may lead to an exemption or delay in jury duty service.
Medical Conditions or Disabilities That Prevent You From Serving on a Jury
If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from serving on a jury, you may be excused from jury duty. However, you will likely need to provide documentation from your doctor to support your claim.
Pre-Existing Scheduled Vacations or Travel Plans
If you have a pre-existing scheduled vacation or travel plans that conflict with the jury service date, you may be able to request a deferral. This means that you will be assigned a new jury service date that is more convenient for you.
Being a Primary Caregiver
If you are the primary caregiver for someone who is unable to care for themselves, such as a child or elderly parent, you may be able to request an exemption or deferral from jury duty. You will need to provide documentation to support your claim, such as a doctor’s note or a letter from the person you are caring for.
Being a Student
If you are a student with a scheduled exam or school-related obligation on the jury service date, you may be able to request a deferral. However, keep in mind that some jurisdictions may require you to serve during school breaks or summer vacation.
Can You Refuse To Serve on Jury Duty?
It’s important to note that simply not wanting to serve on a jury is generally not a valid reason to be excused or deferred. However, if you have a legitimate reason, you may follow the process for requesting an exemption or deferral in your jurisdiction.
Serving on Jury Duty Isn’t Always Required
Jury duty is a civic responsibility that all citizens are required to fulfill. Nonetheless, there may be certain circumstances in which an individual cannot do so. If an exception applies to your situation, be sure to follow the appropriate procedures as needed (such as submitting proof of your medical condition) to ensure the process goes smoothly.